A ZEBRA crossing for Greenfield’s busiest road is being considered as part of safety zone proposals for the village’s soon to be completed new school.
But ward councillors believe the reinstatement of a crossing patrol on Chew Valley Road would be better suited to protecting pupils, parents and staff attending Greenfield Primary on Shaw Street.
Planning permission for state-of-the-art premises to replace the 107-year-old existing building was granted in February 2018.
Headteacher Mike Wood confirmed to the Independent earlier this year a soft opening of Greenfield Primary will take place in June.
Work will then start over the summer to demolish the current building before all works are completed in time for a new, two-form entry, school year starting in September 2019.
Discussions have now taken place recently between Oldham Council’s highways department, the police and local politicians to discuss the best options for the introduction of a school safety zone.
The proposed crossing would be introduced between numbers 60 to 61 Chew Valley Road.
Helen Lockwood, OMBC’s deputy chief executive, confirmed to the Independent: “We are now looking to put a zebra crossing on Chew Valley Road between Greenbridge Lane and Arthurs Lane as this section of road gives good visibility in both directions.
“Once an appropriate series of measures have been drawn up by our Traffic and Road Safety engineers the proposals will be shared with the local community and the school for their comments.
“To make sure we get things right we’ve held discussions with local ward councillors, Transport for Greater Manchester and the Traffic Management Officer from Greater Manchester Police.
“As part of the school safety zone, additional road safety signage and road markings are proposed to highlight to drivers the presence of the school and pedestrian movements in the vicinity.”
The cost of installing a zebra crossing can vary between £20,000 and £40,000.
Councillors feel the money could be used to bring back a crossing patrol close to the busy Chew Valley Road/Greenbridge Lane junction and also fund a similar patrol at St Mary’s School, Greenfield.
Lesley Shaw was the last ‘lollipop lady’ outside Greenfield Primary in 2013.
Cllr Jamie Curley said: “Cllr Graham Sheldon and I have consulted with OMBC highways and we appreciate it is very difficult to site any suitable crossing at that point in the village.
“We do think the better solution at the moment is to have signs on the approach warning of a school safety area as many motorists passing are from outside the area and may not be aware of a school in the vicinity.
“Alongside this the preferred option would be a reinstatement of the crossing patrol backed up by flashing signs.
“A permanent crossing is difficult to site and may not be in the best location meaning people would ignore it. Also if it is in the wrong location it is not easy to move it.
“The money is available and should be spent on the best solution not just the most convenient for the planners.”
An OMBC spokesperson said: “It’s up to the individual schools to decide if they want a crossing patrol.”
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